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Eco Education – Warwick Academy Marine Science Facility

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When considering the composition of the new Marine Science Facility, Warwick Academy approached OBMI’s chartered landscape architect, Jennifer Davidson, to guide the project from concept to completion.

The Marine Science Facility was conceived by the Academy’s Head of Science Jessica Young, and Science Lab Technician Rosalind Wingate. The objective was to create a facility to educate students on the importance of the marine life and ecosystem. The existing 0.2 acres of land opposite the school and overlooking Hamilton Harbour, was the ideal location.

Jennifer joined the Marine Science Facility project team in May 2018. Her strong Biosystems training facilitated her dynamic role in the design and development of the facility. Her services included site analysis, schematic design, conceptual plans building permit submissions, and ensuring all bid and tender documents were in order.

Jennifer also assisted with conceptual designs of the teaching space, deck lab, pavilion, and layby components of the project. She worked in tandem with faculty members, and liaised with relevant Government agencies such as Works & Engineering, Ministry of the Environment, etc. on behalf of Warwick Academy. Building solid relationships was a key component in the success of the project.

Jennifer’s expertise in Bermuda’s plant life, played a pivotal role in understanding the schools desire to create an eco-trail. Developing the trail entailed the clean-out of the existing invasive plants, placement of temporary screening as privacy for the adjacent property, and establishing windbreak. Groups of native and endemic plants were used to emulate the natural progression of the Bermuda ecosystem, from coastal to upper woodlands.

Jennifer’s in-depth knowledge of sustainable building environments assisted Warwick Academy in their selection of environmentally sustainable products. For example, the deck is a wood composite called Trex, and the paths surrounding the facility will be water permeable. The roof orientation of the Marine Science Facility is designed to optimize solar gain and natural cooling, resulting in little to no heating/air conditioner usage. It is also built to support the addition of solar panels in the future.

The facility is well positioned to promote a citizen science, and conduct long term monitoring of Hamilton Harbour. Additionally, Warwick Academy intents to work in collaboration with other schools, the wider community and with leaders in the environmental fields, such as BIOS. The Marine Science Facility is set to open its doors to classes in early 2020.